Factors influencing livestock production in arid and semi arid lands: a case of Garbatulla District in Isiolo County, Kenya
Kirimi, Stanley G
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This research study was carried out to investigate the factors influencing livestock production in Arid and semi arid lands of Kenya. The objective of the study was to examine how grazing management ,climate change, provision of livestock extension services, social cultural and livestock marketing have been factors that are influencing the current level of livestock production, amidst the challenges facing pastoral system of land use. The importance of this study cannot be overemphasized especially when one considers that, Arid and semi arid lands (ASALS) of Kenya are home to over 10 million Kenyans whose main livelihood is livestock keeping. A descriptive survey research design was carried out, having taken, Garbatulla District as a case of study. A population of 1500 pastoralist were targeted, of which a sample of 150 pastoralists, was picked for the study by use of stratified, simple random sample, data was collected by interviewing, administration of questionnaires and focused group discussions, to the sample population. The collected data was, coded appropriately, and analyzed using statistical programme for social scientists. The analyzed data concerning the respondents showed that: 70.4 % of the respondents said, changes in grazing management are responsible for the livestock deaths,81.7% of the respondents said climate change affected their livestock adversely,55.6% of the respondents said culture influence livestock productivity ,40.1 % of the respondents said retrogressive practices such as livestock thefts were responsible for the decline in livestock populations,85.2% said livestock extension services were relevant and met their needs but were in adequate,62.0 % of the respondents said the pricing of livestock and livestock products influenced their decision to sell and 55.8% of the respondents said markets in the locality helped them to the stock their livestock but were being exploited by middlemen. There was a positive correlation between, low livestock productivity and the following; climate change, retrogressive cultural practices, low prices and change to the current grazing systems in ASALS. The study recommends policies, which will create a favorable environment, by developing infrastructure, strengthening the extension service delivery, the provision of revolving fund that can assist pastoralists in times of drought disaster and a land policy that enhances sustainable livestock production for social economic growth, while taking care of the fragile ecosystem. The information gathered will be used by policy makers extension service providers, and by the pastoral community as they endeavour, to develop the livestock production sub sector.